Young entrepreneurs in the state can heave a sigh of relief with options for funding their dream companies opening up.
In a first-of-its-kind initiative, the Kerala chapter of The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE) is set to start a seed fund for lending money to entrepreneurs in the state, irrespective of sectors.
The fund would be officially launched in April with an initial corpus of `50 lakh. According to TiE Kerala officials, they will enhance the fund to `5 crore in one year.
The decision to start a seed fund was taken at the ‘TiECon Kerala’ event held in October last year.
“The seed fund would be operational from April this year. The name and format of the fund and management pattern would be decided by this month end.
“ As of now, we are planning to start the fund with an initial corpus of `50 lakh and the fund would be scaled up to `5 crore in one year,” said TiE Kerala president John Paul.
He added that an expert team would examine project proposals, and eligible startups would be funded. The fund is sector neutral.
TiE Kerala is the state chapter of The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE) which is a not-for-profit organisation focused on promoting entrepreneurship.
It has a network spread across 57 cities in 14 countries. TiE Kerala was registered in March 12, 2003, with ten charter members. It has 41 charter members and 165 associate members from various sectors now.
Earlier the plan was to start a new angel/seed fund stipulated by the guidelines of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), which requires a minimum capital of `5 crore. But now it has been decided to start a smaller-sized seed fund.
“Our mission is to promote entrepreneurship in the state. We will lend money to startups at a nominal interest on a fair payback policy,” said a TiE Kerala official.
There are several region-focused angel funds in India, such as Kutchi Angel Network (KAN), Mumbai Angels and Hyderabad Angels.
However, each network has its own working model and focuses on specific verticals only.